Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by
For those of you like me who have been in the automotive
aftermarket industry for a number of years, you understand the
common challenge that all of us have been facing for over a decade
– how do you determine if parts being sold in the U.S. or Europe
have applications that can generate revenue in other parts of the
world? And how do you identify vehicles that are more likely to
have the same components as those on the road in different
countries? I've never found these questions to be easy...
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by
I rely on some form of a "mileage countdown" system when tracking
the time to change the oil in my car. Whether it's an electronic
display on my dashboard or a sticker in the upper lefthand corner
of my windshield, I'm regularly comparing my current mileage
against the target that commands a visit to my local lube/oil shop.
Unfortunately, it's kind of like waiting for your alarm clock to
hit the magical point when the buzzer goes off early in the
morning. You know it's coming, but you really...Re...
Monday, December 10, 2012 by
Welcome to a series of blog posts about the global automotive
market based on a paper that I recently worked on with a set of
colleagues that discusses important strategic questions for
automotive business planners. For those of you interested in
the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), this
blog focuses on the question, "Will BRIC countries continue to
drive organic growth in the automotive industry?" Answer: Yes! Why?
Of the 38 percent jump Polk expects to see for global light...
Thursday, May 17, 2012 by
It was my pleasure to co-present the Polk Inventory Efficiency Awards
last night at the
Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS)
along with my
colleague, Mark Seng. We honored two outstanding aftermarket
companies for their process improvements relative to inventory and
supply chain efficiency. This year’s Inventory Efficiency Awards
competition was one
of the closest yet. Over the past eight years, we’ve recognized
some truly great companies that have created outstanding results
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 by
Americans continue to hold on to their cars and trucks longer than
ever before. Nearly six years (71 months) among new vehicle owners
is the latest trend. New Polk consumer research
shows the opportunities for
professionals managing OEM aftersales and the automotive
aftermarket operations should have a lot to look forward to given
this trend. It's about parts and service business, folks. Two years
ago, I posted a blog
on the same behavior and when we started
to see a real incline in the...
Friday, June 10, 2011 by
In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) holds the promise of integrating all
things navigable, sociable and mobile...able into a vehicle. The
possibilities hold great promise. Acceptance and demand for
manufacturers to make cars with embedded systems has grown with an
increase in technology acceptance, and now the connected consumer
is expecting a connected car. Chrysler's UConnect
, Ford's Sync
, and BMW's iDrive
are all great
examples of systems that OEMs have installed to make the driving
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by
In the business of automotive information, we use vehicle
registrations along with numerous other data sources to look at
things such as the automotive forecast, automotive aftermarket
opportunities, model and make loyalty, and overall general buyer
behavior through custom consumer research. All of these efforts
require a thorough understanding of the automotive industry, the
world economy, current events, consumer preferences, and so many
other influences. The "other" category is where the...Rea...
Friday, May 20, 2011 by
For those of you who have been in a crash while driving or being a
passenger in an automobile, you'll identify with me. If you will,
allow me to share my thoughts hailing from a personal auto
wreck experience late last month (April 2011).Driving home from
work, literally 5 minutes from the office, I was rear-ended
while sitting at a stop light by a large SUV who simply forgot to
put on the brakes. Wrong place at the wrong time I guess. My
precious Mazda6 is thrown into the intersection and...Read...
Monday, February 7, 2011 by
Companies like Yelp
have forever changed the digital
marketing landscape with their proximity check-in and geo-location
"friend spotting" services. For whatever reason, some people
like their friends (and some random strangers) to know exactly
where they've been, where they are, and possibly create charts
about where they will be in the future. Alright, maybe that last
one was going a little far but still, the digital marketing
landscape will be forever changed by what...
Tuesday, January 4, 2011 by
Since the proliferation of smartphones, people have gone
application crazy. Digital marketing in the mobile space has thus
become more fragmented than a candy cane shattered inside of its'
cellophane wrapper. Advertisers are faced with the decision of
whether or not they should take a risk and only write code for
Apple's iOS application based platform, or extend it to CSS3,
access. It's no secret I'm not a huge fan of Apple, Steve
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 by
Like the Energizer Bunny, ownership trends "keep on going" per the
pattern I blogged about
earlier this year
show that the average number of months one holds onto a
new or used vehicle is over 52 months. This is good for the
automotive aftermarket since you'd assume these cars and trucks
need to stay in good shape. It's a challenge for dealers trying to
improve their new vehicle sales. Let's hope longer vehicle
retention also translates to stronger customer retention,
Monday, October 25, 2010 by
Wow, what a turnout for the Automotive Loyalty Summit held in Long
Beach! If you didn’t attend, you missed a terrific event. Below are
just a few comments I heard from my customers:"All the presenters
were very informative and knowledgeable about their areas" "My take
away was 'Listen to the customer Talk with them' and 50% of
customers are loyal to the brand but only 30% are loyal to the
dealer. You only have ONE opportunity to make an impression so use
it wisely." "Very nice meeting."Over...
Monday, October 11, 2010 by
International Autobody Congress & Exposition
, which takes
place October 10-13, is the world's collision repair event! This
year celebrates the 28th annual NACE event. Created to provide
buyers and sellers of the collision repair community with a place
to network, NACE is the only professional event dedicated to the
industry. With more than 80 educational sessions planned, unmatched
networking opportunities, and a world class show floor, NACE is a
unique marketplace to see all the...Read...
Friday, June 11, 2010 by
Hello! I've just attended a webinar titled, "Innovative In-Vehicle
Electronics with IBM's Rational Software Platform" which discussed
innovative electronics for current and future automobiles.
Sponsored by Automotive News and IBM, the presentation focused on
the ideas that our cars are instrumented, interconnected and
intelligent. There has been a huge increase in electronics and
embedded software during the past several years. Did you know there
was only one computer onboard a vehicle in...
Tuesday, June 1, 2010 by
I want to extend my personal congratulations to Tenneco, Inc.,
winner of the 2010 Polk Inventory Efficiency Award. The Polk
Inventory Efficiency Award recognizes and rewards outstanding
automotive aftermarket companies for process improvements relative
to inventory efficiency. This year’s award was presented at the
recent Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS). Tenneco,
headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois, was honored for the
development and implementation of INVision™, its... Read...
Tuesday, June 1, 2010 by
In a recent interview about how scrappage and other vehicle trends
are affecting the independent aftermarket and dealer service
marketing, I was asked "What is the new normal?
" Well, of course
working for Polk, I instantly talked about the new "normal" as
being new vehicle sales in the neighborhood of 11 to 13-million per
year. And how the normal is not the 15 to 16 million units that the
industry thought it was as recently as two years ago.
However, recently at the Global Automotive... Read...
Thursday, May 20, 2010 by
Here are several highlights from the second and final day of the
Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS).
- John Watt of Petro-Canada provided an interesting insight into
why aftermarket service providers leave billions of unperformed
maintenance on the table. It seems there is a lot of unsold
business that can be corrected with just scheduling appointments
regularly and consistently.
- A Shop Owner Panel followed and was moderated by Bill
Haas, Vice President – Educational and Training,...
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 by
This year's Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) has
started off strongly with speakers discussing a variety of topics
including the economy, automotive repair chain growth, the Chinese
aftermarket and how to grow your business. The highlight of the
first day was the presentation of the
Polk Inventory Efficiency Award
which was won by Tenneco, Inc.
They developed a system of managing inventory for their
distribution centers, WD's, Jobbers and sales personnel. The system
Monday, May 17, 2010 by
Be sure to join us at the upcoming Global Automotive
(GAAS) which will be held on May 18-19,
2010 at the Hyatt Regency in Rosemont near the O'Hare Airport.
Close to 400 senior managers, executives and others from the
automotive aftermarket will be in attendance including
retailers/wholesalers such as AutoZone, NAPA, Federated, Pepboys,
Uni-Select, and Carquest.The event has a full agenda of speakers
and panels to discuss current topics in the automotive
Monday, March 15, 2010 by
I did a brief interview for a public radio program last week and
they asked me about people and their ownership patterns of cars and
trucks. Specifically, they wanted to know if people were hanging
onto their wheels longer and why. Short answer: "Yes."Americans
Continue to Hold Onto Vehicles Longer The trend we've seen
over the last 8 years is pretty stark. As new and used vehicle
sales in the U.S. have taken a hit in recent years, the chances
that we'll hold onto our vehicle for longer...